Critique by Alfonso Sánchez Hermosilla:
The article presents numerous formal and conceptual errors that deprive it of scientific
First of all, neither author is a forensic physician, so they lack the experience and knowledge
necessary to successfully deal with any kind of investigation with human blood stains.
The “experiments ” have been conducted on a living and healthy human being, without
traumatic wounds of any kind and with a dummy vaguely reminiscent of a human trunk. But
if it is not done with a living human being who has suffered the same wounds and the same
chronology as the Man of the Shroud, nor with a corpse that meets the same requirements,
then the experiment does NOT reproduce, not even approximately, the circumstances in
which the blood stains originated.
Moreover, the voluntary subject on which the experiment was performed had no hair on the
skin of the forearms, at least this is what can be seen in the photographs of the article, while
the Man of the Shroud maybe had it or not. We do not have scientific data on this point. But
if he had them, the capillary stems are obstacles to the passage of any fluid, modifying its
trajectory. This fact was not taken into consideration.
The experiment was conducted with human blood from a donor, anticoagulated and kept
cold, and flows through the needle of a cannula, while the “volunteer ” is immobile. But he
does not have living blood flowing from an open wound and a pulsating heartbeat, and he is
not even a person moving, fighting for a restless and agitated breathing. It is clearly seen that
such agitated movement to achieve a breath while nailed to a cross must have happened in
the case of the Man of the Shroud.
The physical qualities of anticoagulated blood are very different from those of non-
anticoagulated live blood, in particular its viscosity and surface tension, that is to say that its
behaviour as a fluid is very different in both cases.
On the other hand, the physical qualities of anticoagulated blood are also very different from
those of cadaveric blood. Which, in turn, is very different from living blood.
But also the blood of the Man of the Shroud was pathological, due to the bleeding suffered,
and its pH was acid, a consequence of asphyxiation, so its behavior is also very different
from that of live blood and, allow me to say this, healthy.
If this were not enough, from the wound on the side there was not only a cadaveric blood
flow, but also post-mortem blood clots, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid (both following the
scourging), and the fluid of pulmonary edema, due to asphyxiation. All these fluids are
unlikely to come out mixed homogeneously. Most likely, they did it in a heterogeneous way.
All this was not reproduced in the “experiment “.
The general public, and also many “experts “, believe that human corpses do not bleed. This is
not true. When there are deep wounds, the cadavers have post-mortem hemorrhages,
especially if moved, and the body of the Man of the Shroud was moved and manipulated,
then bled profusely from his wounds and his natural orifices. And that blood was cadaveric
blood, not living blood, not even chemically anticoagulated blood.
The “blood belt ” was not produced by the flow of blood between the corpse and the cloth of
the Shroud, but while placing the body on the linen, the corpse bled and released a trail of
blood that perfectly reproduces the relative path between the corpse and the textile material
that absorbed this blood. This fact, too, was not taken into consideration.
The experiment does NOT even remotely reproduce the conditions in which the blood stains
of the Turin Shroud have occurred. In these circumstances, the conclusions of the article are
TOTALLY devoid of scientific value.
The authors of the article, given their inexperience and lack of the minimum necessary
knowledge, have committed serious errors in planning and interpreting the results of their
The article is not suitable for publication in a specialised scientific journal; it is assumed that
people who have assessed the suitability of the article should have the necessary knowledge
and experience. In the case in question, either they do not possess it, or have ignored it for
Critique excerpts by Robert Rucker:
The details of crucifixion are poorly understood. This is acknowledged in the third paragraph of
Ref. 1 where part of the reason for doing the experiments was to “help to understand how this
ancient death penalty practice – of which almost nothing is known – was performed. ” Even if all
details of a person’s crucifixion, transport, and burial were known, a human body and its blood
flow during and after crucifixion would still be extremely difficult to simulate correctly. It
would probably require real blood, without an anticoagulant, flowing over real human skin, both
in the condition that they would be in during and after crucifixion. The flow rate of the blood
must be correctly simulated. The effects of dehydration, sweat, dirt, and swelling would also
have to be properly simulated. Crucifixion would probably cause severe dehydration, which
would significantly affect blood viscosity and coagulation rates. All these things would have to
be known to properly model the situation. And the orientation of all parts of the body during
crucifixion, transport, and burial would have to be known and simulated. Due to these extreme
difficulties, any attempt to simulate the conditions of a body and its blood flow during and after
crucifixion must be very approximate. The experimental procedures in Ref. 1 are a good
example of this. The main problems with the procedures in Ref. 1 appear to be the following:
Synthetic blood or human blood containing an anticoagulant and a preservative would not
have the same viscosity or flow behavior as human blood without an anticoagulant or
dilution by a preservative. The blood used in the experiments appears to be much too
runny. The evidence on the Shroud (Figure 1) indicates that the real blood, due to
crucifixion and without an anticoagulant, is much more viscous (Ref. 2) than the blood
used in the experiments (Figure 7 of Ref. 1).
Blood flow on human skin containing pores, hair, wrinkles, and swelling as well as the
products of crucifixion such as sweat, dirt, and dried blood products would probably not
flow the same as on the clean smooth plastic of the mannequin. This should especially
apply to the point at which blood would flow or drip off skin compared to plastic.
The blood flow rates were not the same. Compressing a sponge onto the side of a plastic
mannequin, with the blood containing an anticoagulant and a preservative, would not
produce the same flow rate as a spear thrust into the side of a dead man, with the blood
not containing an anticoagulant or preservative.
The angles were not correct. A hand flat on a table does not simulate a hand in a vertical
position, and a person standing up probably does not simulate the shape of a person’s
body during crucifixion.
Regarding the nail through the wrist, only blood flow from the back or exit wound was
considered. Blood flow from the front or entrance wound was not considered.
The plastic mannequin torso had no arms, whereas the body as it was wrapped in the
Shroud in the horizontal position had bare arms next to the side wound. The arms could
have affected the blood flow from the side wound.
Experiments were only performed on the blood flow from the back of the left hand and
from the side wound. Experiments were not performed on blood flow from the front of
the left hand, the head, the feet, or the scourge marks.
The alleged discrepancies assume that the blood stains that show on the forearm were due
to bleeding from the back (exit) wounds at the wrists, and that the blood stains on the
lower back were due to bleeding from the side wound. No evidence is given in Ref. 1
that these assumptions are valid. If these assumptions are not valid, then there is no basis
for claiming any discrepancies. There are other possible options for the source of the
blood that now shows on the forearm and the lower back.